?

Log in

No account? Create an account
athgarvan

EBBS AND FLOWS



Nowadays we Catholics often despair of the present state of Faith and Church. And, indeed, there are reasons for concern. But it's so important to look at Church history. So often we can be surprised!

I was reading about the trauma the Church suffered in the 19th century when Pope Pius IX was exiled from Rome and the Church lost the Papal States in 1870 - which had long been a symbol of the Church's earthly 'power'. And yet, less than a generation later, the global Church was experiencing a surge of growth. Religious life had experienced a renewal and growth which would have been unimaginable a generation earlier, not merely by the expansion of existing Religious Orders, but by the creation of new ones, many of them dedicated to apostolic work in schools, hospitals and other charitable institutions.

By 1877, there were 30,287 male religious and 127,753 female religious in France alone, most of them dedicated to working with the most vulnerable sections of society.

So, what lesson are we to take from history? Well, the fact that history is not a linear thing, but ebbs and flows. We should also recall that Christian Faith teaches us, that in times of what may appear to be exile, God is preparing us for something new and life-giving.

In 2008 my own group of Religious Brothers around the globe began to embrace a new way of living and mission. Our Way into the Future is a programme of  transformation of the way we work with those made poor in the developing world. Our Way into the Future is not simply attempting to adjust what we have been doing. It is presenting something totally different. 
<a href="http://m.maploco.com/details/e0f5hlb8"><img style="border:0px;" src="http://www.maploco.com/vmap/s/9218852.png" alt="Locations of Site Visitors" title="Locations of Site Visitors"/></a>       

Comments

It is often said that a door is never closed but another opens in its stead.

- Erulisse (one L)
Nowadays we Catholics often despair of the present state of Faith and Church.

Do we? There seems to be quite a lot of people happy with our (relatively) new Holy Father and the track he's trying to take us towards. I'm a bit disappointed that he isn't doing more or is more to the center/left, but there have been improvements.
Yes indeed. And I am delighted to see that so many non-believers are interested in what Pope Francis is saying and doing.
The current Pope is recognizing the suasive power of the institution and seems less concerned with undermining the legitimacy of the Catholic Church's competitors.

As an "outsider", I offer you the observation that your Pope recognizes the critical time in which we live and has decided to use his pulpit to try to influence the course of human history by embracing a social position on the accumulation of wealth, as well as appealing to all people to do what they can to respond to climate change (which is being driven by our lust for the accumulation of wealth).

I don't think there is any cause for despair on the part of Catholics. With over a billion followers on the planet, I'm not sure what would be enough to satisfy the average parishioner.

Yes, there are still a few steps I'd like to see the Pope take, but he's more open and embracing than, at the very least, the last Pope. And, when you consider it, the vast majority of the justices sitting on the US Supreme Court are Catholics. And the VP is Catholic. And even Michael Moore (the famous social documentary filmmaker) is Catholic. Your faith is well represented.
Thank you for your encouraging words. Perhaps I am looking at things from a traditional Irish Church view point. We have been for so long committed to a very conservative understanding of Christianity and Church that even a small fall off in practice causes consternation!
Faith does not "ebb and flow".

You either have faith, or you don't.

If you do, universal church. If you do not, whatever the global thing is. Warmachine waiting to be abused to victimize the rest of humanity? Who knows.

Edited at 2016-06-02 03:17 (UTC)
Since perfection was ignored, I will give to you the gift of peace.

Unfriended.

If I'm wrong, and you're up to the task in the future, let me know.

Like. Ch-yeah.